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Florida Co-management Law Mandates New Informed Consent Process

Florida passed a law on comanagement (Ch 2013-26, Laws of Florida) that went into effect on July 1, 2013. OMIC  worked closely with the Florida Society of Ophthalmology (FSO) and its general counsel, Bruce May of Holland & Knight, LLP to develop two sample forms to aid you in compliance with the new law: “Patient Specific Transfer of Care Letter” and “Informed Consent to Co-management of Postoperative Care”.

The new law mandates that you:

Co-manage patients pursuant to a written “patient-specific” transfer of care letter wherein the operating ophthalmologist (the surgeon) must evaluate and confirm that it is not “medically necessary” for the surgeon to provide postoperative care to the patient, and that it is “clinically appropriate” for the optometrist to provide such postoperative care;

Inform the patient in writing that he or she has the right to be seen by the surgeon during the entire postoperative period;

Inform the patient of the fees, if any, to be charged by the optometrist and the surgeon and provide the patient “with an accurate and comprehensive itemized statement of the specific postoperative services that the physician performing the surgery and the licensed practitioner [the optometrist] render, along with the charge for each service”; and

Inform the patient and obtain written consent to the co-management relationship.

To obtain more detailed information about this law and Florida’s anti-kickback statutes, and the Florida Board of Medicine’s (“BOM’s”) surgical care rule, we strongly advise you to visit the FSO website http://www.mdeye.org/display.php?n=535.

Also, you should consult with your own personal attorney if you have specific questions regarding your co-management practices and to ensure billing protocols comply with these requirements. If you have general questions regarding the new law please contact Bruce May, FSO’s General Counsel at: Phone 850.425.5607 or email bruce.may@hklaw.com.

Finally, if you are performing cataract surgery, please remember that there is a standard Florida BOM approved informed consent form that spells out the recognized risks of cataract surgery. If used and one of the recognized risks occurs, such event need not be reported to the Department of Health or the Agency for Health Care Administration. Further, there would be a rebuttable presumption that the surgeon properly disclosed the risks of cataract surgery. The standard cataract consent form is memorialized in BOM Rule 64B8-9.017, F.A.C., and codifies a 2012 Florida law that the FSO was instrumental in passing. Since the form is memorialized in the rule itself, it should not be altered. It can be downloaded at the FSO web site. http://www.mdeye.org/cataract.php

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